3 March 2021
The CSO reported that the Covid-19 adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 24.8% in February, from 25.1% in January. These figures are an estimate based on the Live Register and Covid-19 related claims. The main unemployment rate was unchanged from January at 5.8% in February on a seasonally-adjusted basis, up from 5.0% twelve months ago.
Jack Kennedy, economist at global job site Indeed, comments on the latest CSO data:
“February marked one year since the first case of Covid-19 and the upheaval that was to come. This time last year Ireland was not far off full employment with the unemployment rate standing at 5%. Today, if we use the Covid adjusted measure, that figure is 24.8%, an increase no one would have predicted. It would have been hard to imagine then that most workers would now be successfully working remotely or that some of Ireland’s most robust sectors, such as hospitality, would be hit so badly.
While the announcement of lockdown extensions brings more difficult news on top of an incredibly trying year, the decision by the Government to extend financial supports is a positive move. These supports have provided a much needed lifeline during this time and are crucial to keep employees connected to the workforce, which will help jump start the economy when businesses reopen. This is particularly important for employees in lower paying, people facing jobs who have been most affected during this time. The pandemic has hit the most vulnerable hardest and ensuring they can return to work quickly when safe to do so will avoid them falling into long term unemployment.”